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Jan 15, 2011 04:44 AM

Levi's Port Cafe

I'll be in your wonderful city the last weekend in Feb. As I usually do before my yearly visits, I comb this board for ideas. I ate at Oohs and Aahs last year (thanks, DC Chowhounders, for your posts which steered me there) and I loved it. I know I had mac and cheese and greens and they were terrific. I can't remember the other dish I ordered.

I love good Southern food, which is hard to get in my city, and I am interested in Levi's Port Cafe.

Couple of questions---how close can I get to Levi's using the Metro as my method of transportation (along with walking, of course :0), and will I be safe in that area during the day? (It's probably 100% safe,but since I'll be alone and I'm a small-size woman, I feel that I should ask.)

Thanks for your help, DC Chowhounders.

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  1. Levi's is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Eastern Market Metro down 8th Street. 8th Street (aka Barracks Row) has become quite the commercial corridor over the years and has lots of foot traffic at almost all hours. And there's always armed guards at the Marine Barracks which tends to discourage criminal activity. Levi's is at the end of 8th Street which is a bit more isolated, but there are always cabs available at the Metro station. Compared to U Street (where Oohs and Aahs is located) there's actually less crime along 8th Street.

    Try the fried pork chops, mac and cheese, and collards. I'm fairly sure they're open on Sundays, but it's best to call. Enjoy.

    13 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      Very easy to walk to from Eastern Market Metro and I would say safe. The Marine Barracks - men and women, in uniform, with guns, does make one feel safe if the neighborhood looks unfamiliar and "inner-city". Levi's is very good. I recently had fried chicken, collards greens, mac-n-cheese, and sweet tea for lunch - a lunch that lasted well into the evening - I would run back for the same meal again! After your meal, walk back to Eastern Market Metro and cross the street for a great cup of coffee at Peregrine Espresso - 660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE.

      1. re: ckinna

        8th Street is night and day different from just 3 or 4 years ago, much less the 10 years ago I moved to that 'hood. (and the aforementioned Marines also patrol the immediate area AND it's under DC police, Capitol Police and even National Park Police to a certain extant, that's not to say nothing happens, but...) if you're still concerned the "Connector" bus runs by there on it's way over to the stadium (exact maps are linked on the "new to DC/Balt" thread). plus there are so many enticing new places you might not make it all the way to Levi's (really not far at all, while I trust Monkey's advice, I'd say you'd have to be a really slow walker to take 15 minutes to get there).

        and if you're walking on the East side of 8 nod and say hi to the guys and gals guarding the barracks, they're really nice.

        1. re: hill food

          not to quibble....

          ok, i'll quibble....

          i think 15 minutes is about right to get there (without rushing) -- even more if one wants to take a look at places on the way down (which one will want to do).

          PS, when you exit the eastern market metro station escalators, you will turn * right *onto 8th street to be heading in the right direction.

          "quibble" is a funny word, huh? sounds like it is a little bird pecking through bird seed on the ground, tossing those pesky sunflower seeds out of the way... ;-). and yet. lo and behold, of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with that. here is your word of the day: "quibble" and its etymology.

          ....i still like the bird pecking idea....

          1. re: alkapal

            My favorite dessert options on 8th: homemade pop tarts and alcoholic milkshakes at Ted's Bulletin; or just a bottle of Moxie at DC-3.

            Ted's Bulletin
            505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              You DC 'hounders are the BEST! Thank you so much for your speedy and extremely helpful responses. Much appreciated!

              Okay, I think I will feel more than safe walking there from the Eastern Mkt. Metro stop. Last year I walked from Georgetown to the Nat'l. Gallery of Art for the Michel Richard buffet then up to U Street to "scope out" Oohs and Aahs and I felt totally safe the entire way. (Yes, I am a hard core walker and I LOVE your city.)

              So when I walk down 8th, will I find Levi's near the US Navy Memorial Museum? Also, looks like I will walk either under or over the Dwight D. Eisenhower Freeway---right?

              And you guys have even given me some ideas for businesses to check out along the way---pop tarts and alcohol milkshakes at Ted's Bulletin and "bottle of moxie" at DC-3. (What is a bottle of moxie?) Any other fun stops along the way? Last year I got some good ideas for fun places to visit on U street from this board :0)

              Thanks also for the tip re coffee at Peregrine. I like that area a lot---Eastern Market, a knitting shop (if it's still there), and a cookwares store (with cookie cutters in the shape of each state! That goodness I'm not from one of those boring rectangularly-shaped states :0)

              Thanks again. I am so grateful for your help.

              U Street Cafe
              1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

              Ted's Bulletin
              505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

              1. re: soccermom13

                I think you're a little misdirected here. The U.S. Navy Memorial is on 8th Street NORTHWEST. Levi's is on 8th Street SOUTHEAST near the Washington Navy Yard. You will walk under the Southeast Freeway.

                Moxie is a New England soft drink with a unique taste, kinda Dr Pepper meets rootbeer by way of sasaparilla.


                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Humm, I might need a new map. I'm using a 2002 Triple A map which shows (In the SE quadrant of the city) these places as I walk south on 8th from the Eastern Metro stop:
                  **Marine Barracks (to the left)
                  **DD Eisenhower Freeway
                  **Marine Corps Museum (to the left)
                  **US Navy Memorial Museum (at the very end of 8th as shown on my map)


                  1. re: soccermom13

                    There is a museum at the Navy Yard. Perhaps that's the source of the confusion. (It's an interesting museum, if you're into Naval history.)

                    1. re: Gonzocook

                      Thanks for the info, Gonzocook. I most definitely do not want to be walking in the wrong direction!

                      1. re: Gonzocook

                        oh right there is one in there, but I believe you have to call ahead to get into that museum.

                    2. re: monkeyrotica

                      ....with notes of turpentine and prune. Gah!

            2. re: ckinna

              PS: while Peregrine's mailing address might be 660 Penn, the door is on the 7th street side of the building next to the florist. (FWIW I used to see actual Peregrine Falcons in my backyard tree a few blocks from there on occasion.)

              OP: you mentioned the cookware store, the owner's name is Leah - she's very personable and the prices are surprisingly good for a non-chain that clearly invested some cash in the renovation. I was amused once to (over)hear a passionate statement about how OXO has flooded the market with shoddy sub-standard goods. definitely a person who believes in what she's selling.

              1. re: hill food

                Yes, Hill Food, I've talked with the owner and she is charming. Any other shops in the area I should check out?